Culture

Iconic: Black Panther: Art Show Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Black Panthers

The Los Angeles opening features appearances by current and former Black Panther leaders.

Photo Credit: Bobby Seale by Shepard Fairey

The Black Panthers were a catalyst for nationwide social change, working toward an equal future for black communities across America. It was a consciousness-raising movement for many marginalized groups, fighting against an entrenched culture of police brutality and discrimination. They created their own media, their own security, free breakfasts for children and other social service programs, in communities severely underserved by both government and nonprofits.

As the 50th anniversary of the party's founding approaches, the SEPIA collective, an all-female African-American art collective based in Los Angeles, is curating a traveling show called Iconic: Black Panther. Its first stop was Oakland in October 2016, and it will be in Los Angeles from April 8 to May 14, with upcoming dates in Chicago, New York and other cities to be announced. 

The art encompasses a wide range of forms. There's Samella Lewis' stark black-and-white linocut; Mark Stephen Greenfield's "Charlotte Observer," a mix of acrylic paint and ink, featuring a Panther with two megaphones against an abstract, floral background; and Shepherd Fairey's Bobby Seale portrait, using his signature red-and-white borders and Andre the Giant logo to frame the legendary leader. Other participants include Emory Douglas, Robbie Conal, Pilar Aguero-Esparza, Aise Bourne, Justin Dixon, F. Scott Hess, Ali Al Sharji, Mohammed Mubarak, Tslil Tsemet, Lexx Valdez, and over two-dozen more.

Los Angeles residents will get the chance to meet current and former Black Panthers at the opening, and everyone else can catch a sneak preview of the show's images below. 

For more information, visit the SEPIA Collective and the Gregorio Escalante Gallery. 

Emory Douglas, Black Lives Matter

Dr. Samella Lewis, I See You

Mark Stephen Greenfield, Charlotte Observer 

Robbie Conal, I Am Not Your Negro

 

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Ilana Novick is an AlterNet contributing writer and production editor.